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Body found near Poplar Bluff, foul play suspected
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The Butler County/Poplar Bluff Major Case Squad was activated Saturday afternoon to investigate the death of an unidentified male found at a location east of Poplar Bluff.
"Myself and [Butler County] Sheriff Mark Dobbs and [Sgt.] Dennis Overbey, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, decided to activate the major case squad at approximately 2 p.m.," said Poplar Bluff Police Chief Danny Whiteley.
At about 1:35 p.m., Dobbs said, he made the "discovery of a deceased male, race unknown," beyond the curtilage of a residence in the 400 block of County Road 614, about five miles east of Poplar Bluff.
"It is not known how long the individual had been there, nor has his identify been confirmed; however, preliminary indications are that foul play was involved," Dobbs explained.
According to Dobbs, officers "feel like we have a pretty good idea of who the individual is, but we don't want to make any assumptions."
About 15 to 20 officers with the police department, sheriff's department, highway patrol, SEMO Drug Task Force and Missouri State Water Patrol reportedly responded to assist in the investigation. Also assisting were members of the Butler County Coroner's Office and Butler County Prosecuting Attorney's office.
Officers, Dobbs said, obtained a search warrant for removal of the body from the location where it was found.
"Officers will continue to process the scene over the next few hours, and potentially the next few days," Dobbs said. "We are continuing to follow numerous leads, as well as talking to some individuals of interest."